David Best’s Temple Returns to Patricia’s Green to Celebrate 10 Years of Art in Hayes Valley

2015-SF-Temple-v.April-27SAN FRANCISCO, June 3, 2015 – The San Francisco Arts Commission in partnership with Burning Man has commissioned artist David Best to reprise his popular Hayes Valley Temple, which in 2005 was the first public art installation in SF Recreation and Park Department’s Patricia’s Green (located on Octavia Street and Linden Street). Best will begin work on the newest version, The Temple at Patricia’s Green, in early June. The sculpture will be designed, engineered and weatherproofed to be in place for one year.

“For ten years, public art has enlivened our City’s world renowned Hayes Valley neighborhood, bringing tremendous economic growth to this much beloved commercial corridor,” said Mayor Lee. “David Best’s first Temple marked the first public art installation in Patricia’s Green and is a testament to our City’s commitment to ensure all our City’s residents and visitors experience world class art in our Hayes Valley neighborhood and across our City.”

“Patricia’s Green is itself a work of art–a beautiful park where once only a freeway stood.  I am excited to see our park, our symbol of Hayes Valley, complemented by the great work of David Best,” said District 5 Supervisor and President of the Board, London Breed.  “As the longtime director of an arts center here in the Western Addition, I am always looking for opportunities to integrate art in our communities.  David’s installation is wonderful and I thank everyone who helped make it happen.”

“David Best’s temple was universally loved and continues to be among the most memorable temporary art installations the city has ever presented. It just made sense to bring it back for the 10th anniversary of Patricia’s Green,” says Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny, “On behalf of the Arts Commission, I want to thank Burning Man for its generosity in supporting this project as well as the Recreation & Park Department, Hayes Valley Art Coalition and the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association.”

“Burning Man is thrilled to be working with David Best and the Arts Commission to make this project possible,” says Burning Man’s Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives Tomas McCabe. “In our ongoing effort to make Burning Man culture accessible to everyone, we’re excited that Hayes Valley and the entire City of San Francisco will once again have an opportunity to co-create a powerful, interactive community art experience.”

Made from wood, the new The Temple at Patricia’s Green will be 37-feet high and approximately 15-feet wide. Like his other iconic temples, eight of which have appeared on the playa at the annual Burning Man festival, this sculpture is intended to be a place of remembrance where people can write personal notes to loved ones on the artwork itself. As David Best says, “When we finish the temple and turn it over to the community it is an empty building. They bring their Mothers, they bring their Brothers, they bring their best friends, their weddings and their celebrations to it. And then it becomes something. It has no life until the community brings that life to it.”

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Best’s living artwork in our parks,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “We have long supported the collaboration between parks and art and are proud to do so again in partnership with the Arts Commission and Burning Man.”

The project is made possible with development impact fees from Hayes Valley private developments, which were set aside specifically for artwork in Patricia’s Green, and with additional support from; San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the San Francisco Community Challenge Grant Program-Moen, and Burning Man.

In 2005, Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Arts Commission encouraged the Black Rock Arts Foundation (now a subsidiary of Burning Man) to collaborate with the San Francisco’s Hayes Valley community and David Best to create an interactive “Temple.” The Hayes Valley Temple quickly became a cherished focal point for the community, providing a beautiful space that inspired connection, dialog and civic pride. It demonstrated how artists, city officials and community members can collaborate to create meaningful work specific to the needs of their community, and became the model for Burning Man’s Civic Arts Program.

Born in San Francisco in 1945, David Best attended the College of Marin, receiving a BFA, followed by the San Francisco Art Institute where he was awarded an MFA. He received a SECA Art Award in 1977. Best is known for his massive, exquisitely decorative temples built and burned at the Burning Man event in the Nevada desert.  Recently, Best collaborated with UK-based charity Artichoke and local community members to create a temple in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.  Best also works in sculpture, painting, collage, mixed media, and ceramic. Other well-known works include his four-foot high plaster figures covered with cast porcelain and found objects as well as his art cars, which are elaborately decorated with found objects. His work can be found in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, and at the diRosa Preserve.

The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. Visit sfartscommission.org.

Burning Man began in June, 1986, as a one¬-night event on Baker Beach in San Francisco. The burning of a wooden sculpture became an annual tradition and in 1990, the event moved to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Today, Burning Man is a year¬-round, globally recognized organization that facilitates the growth of Burning Man culture and manages the infrastructure of “Black Rock City,” where 70,000 participants gather for the annual eight¬-day event in celebration and expression of community and connection.

Through art grants, mentorship, and art management programs, Burning Man Arts (the arts program of Burning Man) supports the creation of impactful, interactive artwork around the world. The mission of Burning Man Arts is to change the paradigm of art from a commodified object to an interactive, participatory, shared experience of creative expression. Burning Man Arts acts on the belief that community-driven, inclusive and interactive art is vital to a thriving culture.

Media Contact:
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
T: 415-252-4638 E: Kate.Patterson@sfgov.org

Burning Man Contact:
Megan Miller
(415) 865-3800 ext. 158
press@burningman.org

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